Keesler commissary is best in U.S.

  • Published
  • By Tara Spacy
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Astonishment and an overwhelming sense of pride flooded over Keesler commissary employees this May, when they received the Defense Commissary Agency's 2012 Bill Nichols Award for the best large commissary in the United States.

"It was a shock," said Marty Roberts, commissary director. "We didn't even know we were up for it."

Normally, stores are notified by phone that they have been nominated for a conference and are competing against four to five other stores, according to Roberts.

"This year we got this little piece of paper that says, 'You're the winner!'" he laughed.
The Defense Commissary Agency uses five criteria to determine a store's eligibility: accountability, customer satisfaction, unit cost, sales increase and accident rates. According to Roberts, 2012 was a great year for them, overall. They had great accountability, great sales increases and no accidents.

Customer Service supervisor Michael Mayfield says, "It means a lot because of the hard work, the dedication, the long hours that we put into our day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Not just as an employee but as a leader and manager leading a group of employees to function as one."

However, Roberts is unsure of another win this year because of the sales increase criterion. Few stores are seeing a sales increase this year, including Keesler, he says. But that will not stop them so easily.

"I like to push to set the highest bar possible," says Mayfield. "When we work together we can achieve a lot of things, and it shows by this award."

With two golden cups sitting on his shelf, one for first runner-up in 2010 and one for first place in 2012, Roberts and his staff are still trying to beat the odds and fill that shelf with more trophies in the coming years.